There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. PROVERBS 12:18
Stu Weber, who pastors a church in Portland, Oregon, and is the author of such best-selling books as Tender Warrior: God's Intention for a Man, remembers an evening he spent many years ago as a seven-year-old boy playing Parcheesi with his grandparents. (Now there's a game you don't hear much about anymore.)
Well, the last thing Stu wanted to do that night was lose to his grandma. So, sensing the tide swinging in her direction, he scanned the board, looking for options, and found only one that offered him much hope of winning. Cheating.
Not everyone, however, has the poker face to pull this off. Stu didn't. And not everyone has parents or grandparents who are courageous enough to take character seriously—enough to hand it down at every opportunity. Stu did. Stu still remembers his grandfather—seeing what was going on—peering over his glasses at his grandson and saying, "You're a Weber, boy; and Weber boys
don't lie, cheat or steal." This grandfather was a wise man; not only was he calling his grandson to obey the Scriptures, but he also wanted Stu to realize he was part of a family of character.
There would be times later in life—as a Green Beret in the military, as a father, as a pastor—when Stu would be faced again with the chance to cheat his way out of a bad situation. But he would always hear these words in the back of his head: "You're a Weber, boy; and Weber boys don't lie, cheat or steal."
A family legacy is powerful. Your children (or grandchildren) need to hear those kinds of memorable words from you.
Think of an opportunity you've had recently to communicate character to your kids. How'd you do?
Pray that your words of challenge and affirmation will stick in your kids' minds a long time.